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CHARLOTTE—At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Fall ConferencePatrice Gopo will serve as a panelist on Saturday morning's panel "All Stories Connect: Does Place Still Matter?", sponsored by the Arts & Science Council.

Patrice also will lead the session "The Basics of Writing Compelling Personal Essays."

Fall Conference runs November 2-4, at the Hilton Charlotte University Place. Registration is now open.

Patrice Gopo’s essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals and other publications, including Gulf Coast, Creative Nonfiction, Full Grown People, and online in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and she is the grateful recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She is the author of All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way, an essay collection about race, immigration, and belonging. Please visit www.patricegopo.com to learn more.

This year, NCWN has been celebrating publishers based in North Carolina, so we asked Patrice to answer the following prompt:

"Congratulations! You've inherited a large fortune, on the condition that you use it to start your own publishing house. What kind of books are you going to publish?"

Here's what Patrice said:

"Sometimes I think back to the girl I once was, a child who spent much of the weekend curled up on the loveseat beneath the large picture window in her family’s living room. In this tiny patch of couch that I still think of as mine, I lived the story that so many children who love books live: I left my home and traveled across time and history and traveled across the world. In the stories, I saw so much of what it means to live and breathe and exist and dream.

"But what is true is that when I look back on those books—many that I’ve kept into adulthood—I know it was a rare day when I read a book with a character that mirrored me, a black girl. It was a rare day that I read a book with a character that mirrored other aspects of my experience, the child of immigrants, a person of color grappling with identity formation in this racialized American culture.

"These are aspects of my identity. My stories are not unique stories, but they are stories that often aren’t portrayed in our literary world. With my own publishing house, I would seek to add more of these stories to our world. I would work to publish work by writers of color across the genres of fiction and personal essay, memoir and children’s books so that we could continue to build an increasing abundance of representations, perspectives, and points of view. And as I publish this work, I would dream of a little girl curled up on a loveseat beneath a picture window, reading words about a character that reminded her of herself."

Personal essays are a popular and important way to share deeper thoughts and insights about our lived experience. But how do we write a compelling personal essay? In Patrice's workshop, participants will learn the basics of writing an effective and satisfying personal essay. Through examples and writing exercises, attendees will learn how to write about their lived experience in a way that unearths deeper meaning and connects with readers and the broader world.

During the panel "Does Place Still Matter?", participants will discuss whether or not, in our global, hyperconnected world—a world with satellites and Google Street View—a sense of place still matters. What does “place” mean when people are more mobile than ever before? Four Charlotte writers—Julie Funderburk, Patrice Gopo, Dannye Romine Powell, and Kim Wright—each of whom took a different path to the Queen City, bring their perspectives to the question.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. Master Classes will be led by Judy Goldman (Creative Nonfiction), Maureen Ryan Griffin (Poetry), Randall Kenan (Fiction), who, as a 2018 inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, also will give the Keynote Address.

Register here.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers, in all genres, at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

CHARLOTTE—Judy Goldman's new memoir is forthcoming in 2019. She's a widely published author and renowned teacher of creative writing. More than that, she's been awarded for her commitment to the literary community and the world of arts and letters.

Judy will lead the Master Class in Creative Nonfiction "How to Get the Words on the Page to Match the Fabulous Vision You Have in Your Head " at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2018 Fall Conference, November 2-4, at the Hilton Charlotte University Place.

Registration is now open.

Judy Goldman’s memoir Together: Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap, will be published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday in February 2019. She’s also the author of two novels, two poetry collections, and an earlier memoir. That memoir, Losing My Sister, was a finalist for SIBA’s Memoir of the Year and ForeWord Review’s Memoir of the Year. Her fiction won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, Mary Ruffin Poole Award for First Fiction, and was a finalist for SIBA’s Novel of the Year. Her poetry won the Gerald Cable Prize and the top three prizes for a poetry book by a North Carolinian. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, Ohio Review, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Crazyhorse, and Real Simple magazine. She received the Hobson Award for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters, the Fortner Writer and Community Award for “outstanding generosity to other writers and the larger community,” and Queens University’s Beverly D. Clark Author Award.

This year, NCWN has been celebrating publishers based in North Carolina, so we asked Judy to tell answer the following prompt:

"Congratulations! You've inherited a large fortune, on the condition that you use it to start your own publishing house. What kind of books are you going to publish?"

Here's what Judy said:

"I would be happy publishing the books that other publishers say are too 'quiet' (because I can never follow an intricate, dramatic plot). I would publish books that are distinguished by their feeling, by their reverence for the emotional tightrope we all walk. I’d publish books that are unsettling—well, let’s just say it—books that are sad. I love sad books. Oh, and exceptional prose wouldn’t hurt—stories that are written with great care, sentence by sentence, word by word."

Interested in registering for Judy's Master Class in Creative Nonfiction?

You know how to write. But sometimes it’s hard to get what’s so clear in your mind onto the page, polished and perfect. How do you make those words fall gracefully into place? How do you get the story to come to life on the page? Judy Goldman wants to teach you the tips she wishes she’d known when she started writing creative nonfiction. Whether you’re writing memoir, essays, travel pieces, etc., her goal is to take you from where you are to where you’d like to be. Attendees will focus on structure, pacing, building potent sentences, dialogue strategies, scene vs. summary, use of reflection (what you knew then, what you know now). They'll talk about finding their story, the narrative arc. Judy will touch on the tricky business of writing about people you love (or don’t love). Oh, and she'll even throw in a little advice on how to turn self-doubt into an advantage.

Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the Master Class.

Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include lunch and dinner banquets with readings, keynotes, tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors or agents. Additional Master Classes will be led by Maureen Ryan Griffin (Poetry) and Randall Kenan (Fiction), who, as a 2018 inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, also will give the Keynote Address.

Register here.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to all writers, in all genres, at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

CHARLOTTE—The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2018 Fall Conference, November 2-4 at the Hilton Charlotte University Place, will deliver more programs for more types of writers than ever before.

For the first time, Fall Conference will offer a full slate of sessions designed specifically for writers of stage and screen. In addition, as part of the Network’s ongoing mission to serve writers at all levels of experience, the Charlotte Center for the Literary Arts will sponsor a “Business of Writing” track at Fall Conference for those who feel ready to take their manuscripts to market. And, because of the Hilton’s convenient location, getting to (and parking!) at a Fall Conference in the Charlotte Metro area has never been easier.

Registration is open at www.ncwriters.org.

Randall Kenan, a 2018 inductee to the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, will give the Keynote Address.

Kenan is the author of the novel A Visitation of Spirits; two works of nonfiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. He edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Mrs. Giles Whiting Award, the North Carolina Award for Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Randall also will lead the Master Class in Fiction, “The Gothic Imagination and Good Fiction,” which will examine Gothic literature as a cornerstone of the Western literary tradition, and its significant impact in forming the American literary tradition.

On Saturday night, the annual Network Banquet will feature an abbreviated production of the play Native by Ian Finley. Native explores the true story of the collaboration between NC native and Pulitzer-winning playwright Paul Green and Native Son author Richard Wright, as they attempt to co-write the 1941 stage adaptation of Wright’s novel. The play highlights discussions between Green and Wright about the realities of systemic racism in America. Finley is the 2012 Piedmont Laureate and the Head of Drama at Research Triangle High School in Durham.

Sessions designed for writers of stage and screen include “Dramatic Structure, or The Story of My Tattoo” with Finley; “Creating Diverse Characters for the Stage, Page, and Screen” with fiction writer, playwright, and screenwriter Paula Martinac; and “From the Page to the Stage” with playwright and television script writer Robert Inman.

Along with an increased presence of programming for playwrights and screenwriters, the North Carolina Writers’ Network will offer the Elliott Bowles Screenwriters Scholarship, which will provide conference registration and two nights’ accommodation for up to four North Carolina-based aspiring screenwriters.

Additional program offerings include Saturday morning’s “All Stories Connect” panel discussion “Does Place Still Matter?” and the Saturday luncheon featuring the winner of the Linda Flowers Literary Award, sponsored by the NC Humanities Council.

Sunday morning will once again feature the popular Brilliant at Breakfast panel discussion “Agents and Editors,” with Kaitlyn Johnson of Corvisiero Literary Agency, Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literary, Betsy Thorpe of Betsy Thorpe Literary, and Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary & Media.

The Master Class in Creative Nonfiction will be led by Judy Goldman, whose memoir, Together: Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap, will be published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday in February, 2019. “How to Get the Words on the Page to Match the Fabulous Vision You Have in Your Head” will focus on structure, pacing, building potent sentences, dialogue strategies, scene vs. summary, and use of reflection to improve the participants’ manuscripts. Judy has received the Hobson Award for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters, the Fortner Writer and Community Award for “outstanding generosity to other writers and the larger community,” and Queens University’s Beverly D. Clark Author Award.

Those who prefer to stick to the absolute truth in their writing also can sign up for nonfiction offerings such as “Write What You Don’t Know” with NCWN trustee Georgann Eubanks, author of the three-volume Literary Trails series commissioned by the NC Arts Council and published by UNC Press; “The Basics of Writing Compelling Personal Essays ” with Patrice Gopo, author of All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way, an essay collection about race, immigration, and belonging; “Get People Talking” with the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Davidson College, Cynthia Lewis, whose latest book is “The game’s afoot”: A Sports Lover’s Introduction to Shakespeare; and “Making a Living as a Writer: Freelancing for Magazines” with Jodi Helmer, who has made her living as a full-time writer since 2002.

Maureen Ryan Griffin will lead the Poetry Master Class, “The Art and Craft of Polishing a Poem,” which will offer registrants the opportunity to learn and practice specific revision tactics, as well as get detailed feedback/critique on at least one of their poems. Maureen has taught the art and craft of writing for twenty-five years. She is the author of three poetry collections and a recipient of the 2018 Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award honoring a community member who has contributed outstanding service in support of local and regional writers.

Additional poetry classes include “Imagery: Source and Function in Poetry” with NCWN trustee Julie Funderburk, author of the poetry collection The Door That Always Opens (LSU Press); “Principles of the Verse Line” with Pulitzer-nominated poet Morri Creech; “The Prose Poem: Hybrid Genre or Structural Choice?” with NCWN trustee Terry L. Kennedy, author of the poetry collection New River Breakdown and editor of The Greensboro Review and storySouth; and “Nobody Writes Alone: How to be a Well-Versed Citizen of the Poetry World” with Lisa Zerkle, author of Heart of the Light and a former editor of Kakalak.

Fiction writers seeking a wider variety of offerings or who don’t quite feel prepared to tackle the intensive atmosphere of a Master Class can also choose from stand-alone sessions including “Dialogue from the Ground Up: Amplifying Place and the Sensory World” with Bryn Chancellor, author of the novel Sycamore (Harper/HarperCollins 2017), which was a Southwest Book of the Year, an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Editors’ Best Book of 2017; “’You Talking to Me?’ How Less Really Can Mean More When Writing Dialogue” with Susan Rivers, whose debut novel, The Second Mrs. Hockaday, was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Award 2017 and for the SIBA Southern Book Prize 2018 for Southern Fiction; “Scene Sequencing in Novel Structure” with the 2017 recipient of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, Kim Wright; and “Worldbuilding: Making Your Setting Come Alive!” with bestselling speculative fiction author Gail Z. Martin.

Those registrants hoping for feedback on their manuscripts should consider additional special options.

By pre-registering for either the Critique Service or the Manuscript Mart, writers receive in-depth literary critique of their fiction, nonfiction, or poetry by a seasoned writer or editor (Critique Service) or the chance to get feedback from an editor or agent with a leading publisher or literary agency (Manuscript Mart). While either of these programs might lead to publication, conferencegoers will get more out of these half-hour sessions if they approach them as an opportunity to, above all else, learn to write better.

While writing well is an end unto itself, the NCWN 2018 Fall Conference offers several sessions designed to help attendees take the next step on their path to publication and beyond. The “Business of Writing” track is sponsored by Charlotte Lit, which engages Charlotte Metro community members through classes, community conversations, explorations in creativity and culture, and more.

In “The Perfect Pitch,” novelists Kim Boykin, Kim Wright, and Erika Marks—who have collectively published twelve books with Big Five publishers—will offer tips on what makes an effective pitch and how to break your big idea down into a few potent paragraphs. “The Passion Project: Writing & Selling a Book that Matters” with Kathy Izard, whose self-published memoir was recently re-released by publisher Thomas Nelson, will offer tips on how to turn that passion project into a successful book; Paul Reali, founder of Charlotte Lit, will lead “Technology Toolkit: Software and Tech Stuff for Writers”; NCWN trustee and speculative fiction author Michele T. Berger will lead the first-ever program offering of “Shut Up and Write!” sponsored by Freedom.to, a session that will ask registrants to do exactly that: shut up, and write; Tracy Crow, NCWN Regional Rep for Randolph County, will teach “Finding Our Stories from Photographs and Art,” an ekphrasis session; and “Understanding the Players in the Book World” with Betsy Thorpe will walk registrants through the ins and outs of queries, agents, publishers—traditional and hybrid—and much more.

Bryn Chancellor, author of the prize-winning novel Sycamore and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will lead the Pre-Conference Tailgate on Friday. Once again, the Network will offer Mary Belle Campbell Scholarships, which send up to three poets who teach full-time to the Fall Conference.

2018 Fall Conference sponsors include the Arts & Science Council; the Charlotte Center for the Literary Arts (Charlotte Lit); the English Department at Davidson College; Freedom.to; Chatham-Lee Counties NCWN Regional Rep Al Manning; the North Carolina Arts Council; the North Carolina Humanities Council; Odin Law & Media; Alice Osborn: Editor/Book Coach/Author; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of English.

For more information, and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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